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A friend of ours has a phrase with which he greets any unexpected news.

The phrase is: “Interesting times!”

We are certainly living those times right now. We are waiting for this virus to be prevented from spreading and as we wait, we listen to the news which is not encouraging and which can cause some of us to feel fearful, for those we love, for our economic situation, for the world we live in and for ourselves. Our daughter, Emily, was just telling me that this has been the longest week of her life and driving through Vancouver with our 2 grandchildren, seeing shops, restaurants and parks closed, she can’t believe how much her life has changed in a week! There have been some good outcomes. A friend of hers, who has stopped working and been at home for 2 weeks, has noticed, that her six year old daughter, who suffered from extreme anxiety, to the point of self harming, has become relaxed and calm.

It is not surprising that the words “Fear Not”, or “Be not afraid,” occur 103 times in the King James version of the Bible. Isaiah 43:1 NIV “Fear not for I have redeemed you;” Isaiah 41:10 NIV “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God.” 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.”

The chorus of one of my favorite hymns is ‘Be not afraid, I go before you always, Come follow me, and I will give you rest.’

The Taize song which keeps popping into my mind is “Wait for the Lord, whose day is near, “Wait for the Lord, Be strong, take heart”.

In Eastern Canada friends wait for Spring to emerge. Here we are blessed with clusters of daffodils and crocuses, buds bursting forth on the trees and birds singing their hearts out. This Spring six hummingbirds perch on our feeder, guzzling sugar water, which is unheard of in previous years. Usually they come one at a time and are extremely territorial.

Perhaps they are teaching us!

This is a time to love one another, to build community in a virtual way, to write a memoir, paint a masterpiece, sing in the shower, listen to our favorite music and if it is available, dance!

I want to snuggle up to God, to count my blessings, to stay connected, to reach out and help where I can and to ask for help if I need it.